What is a Copyright?

What is a Copyright?

Whether someone is an artist, a musician, or an inventor, they all have one thing in common: they’re creators. If you are a creator, chances are you are very protective of your work. Getting a copyright is the only thing that guarantees your protection, so it is important you consider copyrighting your work in the future. Not only will this save you money, but it also ensures you get the credit and recognition you deserve. If you are looking into the copyrighting process, here are some of the questions you may have:

How do I obtain a copyright?

Many people falsely believe that obtaining a copyright is a difficult process. With an experienced attorney by your side, the process is usually a swift and easy one. Essentially, your attorney will contact the U.S. Copyright Office and provide a copy of your material to keep in the Library of Congress. Once approved, you will receive your copyright notice within a year of the first publication.

What are the terms of copyright protection?

Essentially, the term of protection depends on the date of the publication. If the material in question was copyrighted on or after January 1st, 1978, then the work is protected from the date of its creation until 70 years after its creator’s death. If the material in question is anonymous, contracted, or created under another name, the material is protected for 95 years after its publication or 120 years from the date of its creation.

What happens if someone copies my work after I’ve had it copyrighted?

It can be incredibly aggravating if you find yourself in a situation where someone has stolen your work. Not only are they indirectly stealing your money, but they are also stealing your idea, which may be even more frustrating. If you have your work copyrighted and you realize someone stole your idea, you may either recover your monetary loss plus any profits realized by the infringer, or you may also win statutory damages that are anywhere between $750 and $30,000. If you are able to prove another party’s willful infringement, you may see up to $150,000 in statutory damages. The prevailing party may also recover attorney’s fees and costs. 

Contact our Bergen County firm

The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC has over 25 years of experience helping clients through tough times when they need it most. If you need assistance with any intellectual property, traffic violations, or business law matters, our firm is here to help. It is critical that you pick the right attorney who can protect your rights. Contact The Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, LLC for a consultation.